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The Coolest Daytime Hangouts in Bristol

Seemingly always in the shadow of London or Manchester when it comes to cool cities in the UK, Bristol definitely doesn’t get the credit it deserves. It just so happens that it’s a pretty cool place too, with a young population, plenty of independent businesses, and a thriving music scene. While there’s most certainly always somewhere to go at night in Bristol to dance, here are a few of the coolest places to hang out during the day in the capital of the South West.

M Shed



In Bristol’s harbour, several of the former warehouses have been converted into spaces for art, music, shopping, or eating. M Shed is perhaps one of the most interesting, with regularly changing exhibitions, events, and performances taking place.

As the site describes it, it’s a place to “see amazing film and photographs, listen to moving personal stories, encounter rare and quirky objects, and add your own memories of Bristol through the interactive displays.” The area around M Shed is also a great place to see evidence of the city’s wealthy past, with the rejuvenated harbour area beautifully showing off Bristol’s late 19th century, industrial architecture.

Street Art in Stoke’s Croft

Bristol may well be the street art capital of the UK, and the epicentre of Bristol’s street art scene is most certainly Stoke’s Croft, a historically working-class neighbourhood in the north of the city. The area has pioneered several alternative initiatives that go against the traditional top-down governing of city districts, which has resulted in a liberal attitude towards street art and a resistance to typical signs of gentrification.

The main street is full of creative and visually intriguing street art by a variety of artists, such as Cosmo Sarson, Bristol local 3dom, and Colombian artist Stinkfish, to name a few. Sitting on the top deck of any of the buses that head through this part of town will give you a great view of some of the most obvious pieces; but it is definitely worthwhile exploring on foot to go down some of the side streets and find even more hidden gems. While in the area, stop in at Café Kino for some vegan food, or just a coffee.

Eat on Gloucester Road

Continuing north from Stoke’s Croft along Cheltenham Road, you pass under the railway arches, where the road then becomes Gloucester Road. Now in the neighbourhood of St Andrew’s, the main street is lined with some of Bristol’s best independent restaurants, cafés, bars, and pubs.

Try Atomic Burger for a huge range of novelty meat and vegetarian burgers with gluten free options, Planet Pizza for excellent deep-dish pizza with vegan cheese available, Dev’s Kerala for some of the best South Indian food in the UK, or Tinto Lounge for tapas in a casual café/bar setting with quirky, mismatched furniture.

Rise Music

Regularly hosting book and album launches, this proudly independent record shop has a huge range of vinyl, CDs, books, and other music-related merchandise; and if they don’t have what you want, they can almost certainly order it for you. Between perusing for records and trying on T-shirts, pop downstairs for a coffee and a snack in the self-service canteen.

Have you ever been to Bristol? If so, what did you think? If not, would you like to visit? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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